100 extra staff needed for property tax
If the Revenue Commissioners get the additional 100 staff promised in the budget, the Government will be able to implement the property tax for the July deadline, the Dáil has heard.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said significant progress had been made in arranging deductions at source in payments including those from the departments of Social Protection and Agriculture.
Discussions have already taken place with the private sector, including service providers for cash payments, payroll administrators and software specialists. The Minister said “a key element of the design of the tax is that property owners will have as much flexibility as possible to spread the payment of tax in equal instalments throughout the year” .
He said it was a significant challenge for the Revenue Commissioners to introduce a new property tax in such a tight timeframe but he was “fully satisfied” they would deliver “all the necessary milestones” before July 1 st. He was also “satisfied that if the Revenue receive the additional 100 staff sanctioned last year, they will be in a position to prioritise their resources to ensure the successful implementation of the local property tax”.
He told Fianna Fáil public expenditure and reform spokesman Seán Fleming that they would also contract call centres because it would be operating a significant number of helplines to assist taxpayers.
Mr Fleming pointed to criticisms by Fine Gael and Labour TDs of the tax because more would have to be paid in urban areas and they “seemed to be picking on Donegal with its low valuations”.
Mr Fleming said all counties should be treated equally regardless of where tax was collected and he was concerned the money would go to the county concerned. He added that it was an “anti-Dublin, anti-urban area tax” .
But the Minister said there would be one standard rate of tax for everyone based on house value and it was the Government’s intention to “ensure the tax is spent where it is collected”.